ROME 23/05 – Day 24: Hoofing it and blossoms

Today is, aliquibus locis including Roma, the Feast of Mary, Help of Christians.

It is also the Feast of St. Vincent of Lérin, whose name has been lately instrumentalized to lie about the role of tradition and progress in ecclesial matters, chief among which is sacred liturgical worship.

At 05:40 was the rising of the sun while, at the other end of the day, its setting is proposed by the Maker of All Things at 20:34.

Those who are not the makers of all things and who, these days, are the destroyers of much that is true, beautiful and good, will not in the Roman Curia ring the Ave Maria Bell at 21:00.

In the mornings I walk by the little della Quercia (Oak Square) close to the little church which is the home of the Confraternity of the Butchers.  There is attached to that church a palazzo which they decorated with their favorite things.

Here are Mother and Child sitting in an oak tree… what else… with a moo-cow and baa-sheep beneath (aka money on the hoof).

In St. Trinità there is much revving up for the Feast of St. Philip Neri on the 26th (also my anniversary).   There’s a lot in this pic, including the beloved image of St. Philip, painted while he was alive, the Madonna Help of Wretches, and the painting of St. Giovanni Battista de Rossi, whose feast was just celebrated, thus the “bunting” on his altar rails.

There’s always something great going on at the parish.  It’s a lively place, so unlike the vast majority of churches scattered over the center of Rome.

The flowers, by the way, lovely lilies come form my florist at the Campo de’ Fiori.  One of the priests at Ss. Trin is very diligent with the flowers.   There are three large flower stands at the Campo and the middle one is the one he and I use (I’ve used them for many years).  “Pippo” is the florist (like St. Pippo Bbono aka St. Philip Neri).   He is a real florist, too, certified, trained etc., a fiorista.  Otherwise, a guy who just sells flowers is a fioraio.

I thought that, perhaps, once in a while, I might prompt some of you to his PayPal to send flowers to Ss. Trin for some event or other.  What think you?   Even just to say hi to them at their email, which I will hunt up.

Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance. US HERE – UK HERE  These links take you to a generic “catholic” search in Amazon, but, once in and browsing or searching, Amazon remembers that you used my link and I get the credit.

This is what properly made Carbonara looks like.

This is what today’s puzzle looks like.  White to move.  Mate in 2.

NB: I’ll hold comments with solutions ’till the next day so there won’t be “spoilers” for others.

Priestly chess players, drop me a line. HERE

Wine from the traditional monks of Le Barroux in S. France, from the revived vineyard of the Avignon Popes.  FATHERZ10 gets you 10%off.Chesscomshop Banner







In chess news, Jan-Krzysztof Duda took the lead in his bid to defend his 2022 title of the Warsaw Rapid and Blitz. Alas, my pick Wesley So was knocked off the summit by MVL. Magnus Carlsen got some wins and goes into the Blitz portion with momentum. He still needs a hair cut. Badly. He is only three wins out of the lead, having come back from 7th place. The guy can play. Poland Rapid & Blitz continues today with rounds 1-9 of the Blitz on Wednesday, May 24, at 0800 EDT / 1400 CEST.

Use FATHERZ10 at checkout

In other chess news, there is now going to be a joint FIDE and Indian tech giant Mahindra (which will please the nuns at Gower Abbey because they have a nice red Mahindra tractor) called the GLOBAL CHESS LEAGUE. Dubai, 21 June 21 to 2 July. OTB! (Over The Board.) There will be teams consisting of six players, including a minimum of two women per team. That’s great news. Women need their own space in chess to complete, but it is necessary that they have chances to play against the male players too. says:

Six franchises will compete in the GCL. The format will be a double round-robin, with each team playing a total of 10 matches. The winner of each match will be determined using a best-of-six board scoring system played simultaneously. The top two teams will advance to the final on July 2, where they will compete for the title of World Champion Franchise Team.

Big names involved. Magnus Carlsen, plus India’s five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand and the world’s top-ranked female player, Hou Yifan. Indians are on the rise in chess and they will be solidly represented by Gukesh D, Arjun Erigaisi, Vidit Gujrathi, Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin, Raunak Sadhwani, Humpy Koneru, and Harika Dronavalli. More! Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Leinier Domínguez, Alexander Grischuk, Teimour Radjabov, Yi Wei and Yu Yangyi of China, Ding’s world championship second Richard Rapport, Kirill Shevchenko, Salem Salah, and Daniil Dubov. I didn’t see my guy, Wesley So’s name. Hmmm. I’d like to see the young Alice Lee, too.

And there’s more!

On cable TV there will be a Chess programs: Chess Moves. A prime time chess show.  It’ll be on Game+, which I don’t know.   Apparently, they also cover professional pickleball.  Who knew?

I keep telling people that chess is EXPLODING. They look at me like I have a leg growing out of my neck, or like I voted democrat. NO! IT’S TRUE! Chess is exploding! You parents out there MUST get your kids into chess. It’s a lifetime gift.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JonPatrick says:

    “Women need their own space in chess to complete, but it is necessary that they have chances to play against the male players too”. I would think that in chess unlike physical sports women should be on an equal playing field as men. That is certainly true in the JonPatrick household where my wife beats me every time I play her. Perhaps for historical reasons women were often discouraged from playing and thus have not been represented in competitions especially internationally.

  2. JonPatrick: It seems to me that engines and the increase in the numbers of tournaments may eventually level the “playing field” for female in proportion to male players. I read Judith Polgar’s account of how in the past girls and women have been treated in tournaments and could immediately understand why there have to be (still) separate women’s opportunities to compete. Also, this is not exactly like swimming or weightlifting, where males have a natural superiority. I am still interested in learning more about the possibility that women somehow play differently than men once they are out of theory. It makes sense to me that they might, but the chess board imposes its constraints.

  3. palestrinadei says:

    1. Bxd3+ Rxd3 (forced)
    2. Qg4#

    Five of the seven remaining pieces contribute.

    Something odd seems afoot with Magnus. The circumstances of his first round rapid loss bear echoes of the infamous event in St. Louis last fall, and his dubious choice of defense against that particular kind of opponent suggests some intent to invite comparison and contrast. Whether there is anything more to it should become clearer once he has left Poland.

    Overnight, I became an uncle. Deo gratias!

  4. _Dan_ says:

    I tend to think that the disparity between the sexes in chess (and many other pursuits in life) is attributable to the fact that most women are simply not interested in fanatically pursuing a single topic or skill to the depth that some men are. Anthony Esolen has commented on this fact several times, for example here:

    Essentially, the upper tail of the distribution for “genius” (careful how you define that, in this case I’m using it in terms of AN APTITUDE to acquire ability well above and beyond the norm) skews farther right for men than for women. Therefore, out of the very few people who have the physical/mental gifts by birth to be able to achieve an exceedingly high level of skill, men will be more likely to pursue it to the extreme than women.

    Therefore, looking at the “geniuses” of history, we see almost exclusively men; Pascal, Bobby Fischer, etc.

    It would be interesting to see the rating distributions of chess players by sex. I wonder if those functions would be superimposed with only an extended tail into the higher ratings for men, or if they are simply identical but shifted apart?

  5. Synonymous_Howard says:

    1. Be4+ Rxe4
    2. Qxe4#

  6. palestrinadei says:

    Never mind my somewhat rushed puzzle response yesterday. The second move is not checkmate; opponent can block. Howard seems to have it, except it appears to me that the action occurs on d5, not e4. The light squared bishop starts on e4.
    1. Bd5+ Rxd5
    2. Qxd5#

Think, proof read, preview BEFORE posting!